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Conservative and Progressive, Relative Terms

Conservative and Progressive, Relative Terms The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

The irony which seems lost on Democrats in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade this past summer is that they are now in the position of being conservatives, after a fashion. Or at least their arguments for why legalized abortion should continue to be the “law of the land” nearly five decades on – these are conservative arguments. 

That is, they say we should not upend so much precedent. What is more, they are really against progress – so long as such is defined along the lines of protecting infants from infanticide. 

Meanwhile, the Pro-Life in America, at least those who are for the abolition of legalized abortion, find themselves in the curious position of contending for the most liberal option – again, in a sense. To protect the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the unborn is a rather more liberal position than what the Democrats are taking.

I think, then, it would be wise for us all to re-evaluate who is really conserving what. And who is really liberating whom from constraints which are any constraints at all? At this point in the game, measuring from the French, Bolshevik, or Maoist revolutions, these things bear closer examination and an attempt at answering some hard questions.

Take taxes, for another example. Don’t really take them from me, if you please, if it can be helped. But, I mean, consider taxes.

Taxes really are not a morally or spiritual neutral topic, however often folks who want you to just pay the damn things, unquestioningly and without complaint or debate, will point out only Romans 13 and Matthew 22 as if only those passages represent the Christian position. But the Bible does say more about taxes than just to pay them. With Christ saying “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” we ought to sometimes revisit what really is Caesar’s, after all.

For instance, it’s not for no reason that one of the primary points on which Jesus was criticized so often was that he spent time in the company of both whores and taxmen. They are rather on the same level, biblically speaking.

Yet remember Zacchaeus also, and not just for the fact that he was a wee little man and a wee little man was he. One of the marks of repentance on his meeting Christ was that he reimbursed all he had defrauded. And that is to say that it was possible then, as it is now, for the IRS to take what rightly ought to belong to the citizenry of a nation.

Or consider the story of Joseph interpreting Pharaoh’s dream to be a warning from God that seven years of plenty will be followed by seven years of famine and drought. A big government type will surely point out that the centralized planning for a rainy day – or seven years of few to no rainy days – was not a conservative precedent. And there’s some merit to that observation. But what Joseph ended up overseeing in the way of preparations in Egypt was a very fiscally conservative response, if you think about it. Saving grain during the good times – during the budget surplus – so that it would be there for future deficit spending – this was hardly Joseph only being against things all the time, or failing to think about the future because he was stuck in the past. And yet he was conserving, and a great many people alive today descend from folks whose lives were saved by that kind of conservatism.

Again, then, I say it would be good for us all to reconsider who is conserving what, and who is trying to liberate us from what and whom. The Devil is most certainly in the details. And despite what many seem to think, these are neither subjects on which the Bible is silent, nor are these subjects on which we can afford – in any of the several senses – to let the Left to either control or suppress the debate by twisting the Scriptures, or else forbidding their mention.

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